Last week Natalie and I began the daunting task of removing our teak decks. So far we’ve had lots of assistance from our friends Eric and Jaime and our dock neighbor, Jay. We’ve learned some things about how to make the process easier too.
#1: Just pry the old stuff out and don’t try to save it
The teak had a sticky tar-like bedding compound on the back so the wood is destined for the garbage can. Just use a pry bar and mallet to get it up and don’t try to save whole boards or unscrew every screw that holds it in.
#2: Use power tools
The Fein Multimaster is great for scraping the leftover teak bedding compound off the decks, an electric screwdriver makes it quicker and easier to remove screws without worrying about prying the old screws out of the deck and possibly delaminating the deck. Use a shop vacuum to suck up all the debris from the deck and screw holes
#3: Use a paint scraper to remove the extra teak bedding compound
I first tried only using the Fein Multimaster with a scraper blade to remove the excess bedding compound and dirt. It didn’t remove enough to go straight to the acetone cleanup stage. I tried cleaning up with acetone and Scotch Brite scrubbing pads, but that was a whole lot of work. Next I tried using a paint stripping wheel, but that scraped the teak bedding compound in to the deck gelcoat. The winning combination is using a manual paint scraper and occasionally a putty knife to get down to the deck. Then the acetone bath is easy.